Sinced the time the first single-celled organisms (such as President Bush) decided to stop reproducing asexually and have a bit of fun, there’s been an odd thing called LOVE.
To some it’s the best feeling in the world, to others an endless source of misery and woe; but to everyone it’s been a mystery.
How many times have you heard someone say ‘I can’t believe he/she’s with her/him/it’? If love was fathomable then expressions such as ‘love is blind’ and ‘beauty’s in the eye of the beholder’ would be meaningless – because we’d all be able to do the maths and work out why one plus one equals two. Or, later on down the road, three or four.
Poets, artists and musicians wax lyrical about it but press them to explain what the hell they’re on about and they’ll probably come up with such rubbish as ‘love is ineffable’ and ‘beyond explanation’, which kind of makes the whole effort of putting their ‘thoughts’ on the subject down on paper, disk or canvas pointless.
Thankfully, there’s another avenue we can go down to explain what love is. It’s called ‘science’, but really science is just a name for the process of rational investigation to bring understanding.
Everything in our lives should be done, in this sense of the word, scientifically. You wouldn’t drive a car without learning how it works, or eat anything that takes your eye and trust to faith you wouldn’t get poisoned.
The same should apply to love, because, to quote a bad ’80s pop tune, it ‘changes, changes everything’. Bad love can be worse for you than tucking into a steaming bowl of salmonella.
Larry Young, a professor of neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, has had the nerve to examine love scientifically, and his conclusion is very interesting.
He argues that love can be explained by a series of neurochemical events in the brain.
“It’s just that when we experience these emotions they are so rich we can’t imagine that they are just a series of chemical events,” says Dr Young.
You can read the full article here for the actual science. What I find fascinating are the implications.
Such a reductionist approach might take the romance out of love but it sure is refreshing.
Basically our beloveds are doping us to the eye-balls until we can’t think straight.
Which is why so many lives go unfulfilled in terms of experience. We don’t care that we’re missing all the other rides in the fairground because the Roller-coaster’s providing such a buzz.
Far better to get off and try something else. You’ll still get a kick as nature’s wired your brain to provide it. Maybe the Dodgems would be an apt choice.
Bad love would be cured and people could have a legitimately acceptable choice in life. Get married and slowly become immune to the drug OR sod ’em all and become a emotion junkie.
After all, nature is only trying to trick us in to putting all our baskets into one egg.
“Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species” – W. Somerset Maugham
Then, when the body is too frazzled to take the constant highs, you could finally settle down for one last baby-making chemical romance, satisfied in the knowledge you’d have some great memories to take to the grave.